RCIA mom with 11 year old resistant to attending Mass

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  laurabear 4 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #2274

    beth
    Member

    Hi everyone! I am currently undergoing conversion to Catholicism. I am active in the church and want to involve my children. However, although our children were baptised, they did not attend RE (no first communion yet). Now I would like to help them learn more about the church and get caught up with RE, but my oldest is very resistive. Is it too late?! Not sure whether to ‘coerce’ her to attend (i.e. ‘no electronics unless you go to RE, Mass, etc.’) or just not push it and hope that through my example she will choose to participate at some time in the future…. :) Any advice? We are thinking of sending her (and younger sister) to Catholic school next year–which she does not want to do….

    #3994

    janelle
    Member

    Hello My name is Janelle I have four children 4,8,10,and 12. I’m writing not so much with advice but am also seeking advice. I’ve always been catholic but never a practicing catholic untill about 6 months ago and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been but my 12 years old son refuses to go to church and I’ve kind of let him decide not to go but when I was speaking to the priest he oviously told me I really should be getting him there! He has always attended ccd and has always complained. My 8 and 10 years old girls don’t exactly love to go but they don’t give me too bad of a time. I think If we keep trying to explain the reason for going and why it is so important hopefully it will sink in. Or mayby some nice video’s like The Lady of Fatima It’s funny and touching at the same time and it shows how powerful faith is. And I think this week maybe wedneday night on EWTN they have some kind of show on raising good catholic Families that might be helpfull you can look on the website for the exact day and time if your interested. Well goodluck let me know if you get any good advice.

    #3995

    momonfire
    Member

    Hi Beth–I think you have a tough situation here, but I do think as the parent, you set the rules and your kids have to follow them. I have a 13 year old, 10 years old, both girls and a 7 year old son. Most of my resistance comes from my 7 year old son. They are in Catholic school so they attend mass not only on Sunday , but during the week as well so they are kind of used to the routine. I think you are going to have to get creative–we have made it a ritual that we go out to breakfast after mass or a trip to Tim Horton’s for donuts if there are no coffee and donuts after mass!! What about taking him to church when mass isn’t going on and explaining things to him or better yet, have a priest or youth minister give him the “tour,” so to speak. I think your example is going to help. My girls don’t complain about going to church anymore–but for years they did, and our standard, calm answer as we were driving to mass was always that “We are so dissappointed that you can’t take one hour and a half out of 168 hours in a week to thank God for all the blessings that HE has given you.” Usually there was always silence! After many years of hearing that, I think they get it and they are pretty prayerful girls–we are still working on my son!
    Good luck

    #3996

    mjohnstonnh
    Member

    Hello,
    I also agree that getting “creative” might help bring the family together for mass… Growing up we used to go out for an ice cream if we “behaved” in church on Sundays (this is when we were little- yet old enough to be bribed ;) … Now that we are all adults with very young children of our own – my now larger family unit (spouses & children)… we are still able to attend mass together from time to time – whether it be one of our baby’s Baptisms or another celebration….
    But… life gets busier & busier … even as an adult I find it helps me if we “keep it interesting”… While attending mass on Sunday may seem lack-luster at times — piling all the kids into the car/ packing lunches & taking a trip to Lasalette Shrine for the day can be a family adventure/ mini-vacation!… Sometimes, depending on where you live -there might be a Shrine or large Cathedral that your child might be interested in visiting (you know semi-interested or at least not opposed)– maybe the artwork there – or the joy of being able to pick up a book or dvd in the downstairs giftshop… I’ve been to “retreat” locations that have plenty of space for kids to run around & enjoy the simple goodness of being outdoors – while taking in the Stations of the Cross…
    I totally understand where your child is coming from… at eleven a kid really wants to start making their own decisions and pretty much has an opinion on everything :) … But I do think it is possible to share what you have discovered spiritually with you child – just probably in a more roundabout way :) … I know that some churches have a special mass dedicated to “children’s mass” where perhaps there are younger people there?… Alot of times a Catholic school is associated with a parish & so there your child might “fit in” a bit better?… Also, if you do decide to take your family on an outing – maybe you could allow your child to bring a friend?… That way maybe the friend won’t think it’s “so bad” afterall & help influence that it’s “ok” to go to church…
    Probably would go the “reward” route instead of “punishment” on this one… Try & see if you can help make church a “safe” & “peaceful” place for your child… that way later on in life there will come a time where going to mass will come from the heart <3
    Hope this helps :) … I’ll probably be asking for similar advice in 10yrs when my little guy starts questioning things… for now, a sippy cup, some cheerios, & any toy on wheels gets us through on Sundays :)
    Melanie

    #3997

    ewaj
    Member

    Eleven year old children can sound awfully grown-up, but they are not. Your child needs you to make this decision for him. He goes to Mass and RE as you expect and he can grapple with his beliefs in those forums. Just sitting on the sidelines, thinking you can make an informed decision as an 11 year old is not a healthy option. Continue to share your faith with your family- all the ways you feel God’s love in your life. Your beliefs about grace and mercy and your gratitude for the great gift God has given you in your children. Show your children how you use prayer to draw closer to God and one another. Show the fruits of your beliefs. Also, you may want to discuss this with your director of RE at your church.
    My two cents. Good luck.

    #3998

    laurabear
    Member

    Hey,

    A few options here…First the power of prayer( of course) for example to St. Monica mother of Saint Augustine who was basicly a pagan untill the relentless prayer from his mother converted him to the Saint he became.

    also, I was pushed into faith at a young age and of course it backfired. I feel faith is very personal for each individual and the best way to conversion is example. Allowing your kids to see the joy your faith and the church teaches you. At 11 or even any age it is so hard to grasp the concepts of the Catholic faith, and for a time especially through adolecents a child does not have intellectual capacity to understand faith so we have to show them faith on their level. They have to feel faith, and if they don’t feel it then they won’t want to go. You have to tap into the emotional faith. There is a great book called ” stages of faith.” Also some great books are :

    ” Raising Catholic Children” -Maryann Kuharski
    ” Talking to your kids about being Catholic” – Bert Ghezzi
    ” Keeping your kids Catholic” and ” Fifty ways to Tap the Power of the Sacraments”

    all are great books. I believe going to church for your kids shouldn’t be an option. They should know that going is going to happen, but understand that they have an opinion. Ask ” why do you now like church?” if it’s because it’s boring then suggest getting them into more charismatic activities with Faith mixed in Life Teen, Youth conferences which help a child connect emotionally to their faith. Also find out what the child likes to do so that you can really bond with the child on Sunday. Children so much like to be with their parents so find out what they like to do and incorporate it into Sunday. For example go play laser tag after mass as a family let mom get really goofy and silly and connect with your child. The first way to convert a child is to convert your whole self. When they see that mom is really going over and beyond to have a connection with them then they will 1…look forward to Sunday, and 2…when youtalk to them they may even listen.

    #3999

    laurabear
    Member

    Hey,

    A few options here…First the power of prayer( of course) for example to St. Monica mother of Saint Augustine who was basicly a pagan untill the relentless prayer from his mother converted him to the Saint he became.

    also, I was pushed into faith at a young age and of course it backfired. I feel faith is very personal for each individual and the best way to conversion is example. Allowing your kids to see the joy your faith and the church teaches you. At 11 or even any age it is so hard to grasp the concepts of the Catholic faith, and for a time especially through adolecents a child does not have intellectual capacity to understand faith so we have to show them faith on their level. They have to feel faith, and if they don’t feel it then they won’t want to go. You have to tap into the emotional faith. There is a great book called ” stages of faith.” Also some great books are :

    ” Raising Catholic Children” -Maryann Kuharski
    ” Talking to your kids about being Catholic” – Bert Ghezzi
    ” Keeping your kids Catholic” and ” Fifty ways to Tap the Power of the Sacraments”

    all are great books. I believe going to church for your kids shouldn’t be an option. They should know that going is going to happen, but understand that they have an opinion. Ask ” why do you now like church?” if it’s because it’s boring then suggest getting them into more charismatic activities with Faith mixed in Life Teen, Youth conferences which help a child connect emotionally to their faith. Also find out what the child likes to do so that you can really bond with the child on Sunday. Children so much like to be with their parents so find out what they like to do and incorporate it into Sunday. For example go play laser tag after mass as a family let mom get really goofy and silly and connect with your child. The first way to convert a child is to convert your whole self. When they see that mom is really going over and beyond to have a connection with them then they will 1…look forward to Sunday, and 2…when youtalk to them they may even listen.

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